22, Another Blessed Year

It’s May the 4th and I still haven’t watched Star Wars HAHAHA

….and it’s also my birthday! *sings happy birthday*

I turn 22, another year older. *play Taylor Swift’s 22 on Spotify*

Here’s to 22, praying for more growth in faith and welcoming more opportunities for the better!

Here’s to 22, to live freely and honestly.

Here’s to 22, to make more genuine connections and to love fearlessly.

Here’s to 22, to more blessings and to appreciate the beauty in this world.

Here’s to 22, thank You for giving me a wonderful family and great friends.

Here’s to 22, to treat myself kindly, to care more and to love myself.

Lord, I thank you for giving me another blessed and beautiful year.

9 year old me 🙂

Xoxo, Patricia

Hello Spring! :)

Hi guys,

After being away from blogging for about a month now. It feels good to finally have time and the inspiration to blog again. Let me catch up with what’s happened so far in my life.

I have sat my ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) Piano Diploma Exam and unexpectedly got a distinction result. I was completely over the moon when I found out! Yay me, I’m so glad that’s out of the way and that my hard work truly paid off.

I took some time off and spent time with my family, we went to Edinburgh and St. Andrew’s during the Easter break. (Speaking of Easter, I failed my promises during Lent, sorry Lord!)

Here’s some pictures of my sisters and mommy. Ladies family trip to Edinburgh! Bonding time is always a treasure. We just spent the day wandering around and we ate at Byron Burgers! I’m a huge burger girl, well honestly, I’d eat anything as long as there’s food, I’m a happy girl!

That’s probably the best burger I had in a while, it’s juicy but not too greasy, filling but it doesn’t make me bloated. Don’t get me started on the cheese fries and crunchy sweet potato fries. The service was great and the waiters were smiley and friendly! 🙂

We also went to St. Andrew’s and was blessed with beautiful sunny spring weather. I wanted to get away from the city rush so I suggested that we go to the beach! That 2.5 hr journey was worth it and the views were amazing!

It’s our second time visiting St. Andrew’s – it’s such a cute little town! It was our first time at West Sands beach though. We’re literally at the edge of the east of Scotland! We had a wander around.

Fun fact: Golf originated from St. Andrew’s Scotland in 1560! How fascinating is that? The Open Championships is the only championship outside of America. (I’ve to double check that fact though!)

Our trip isn’t complete if we didn’t grab a Jannetta’s Gelateria ice cream on our way back!

Vanilla and Chocolate Chip double scoop! YUM!

It felt good to get away from the rush, a lot has been going on in my head and it’s great to destress from time to time. I always have to remind myself to treat myself more often and that I’m allowed to relax!

That’s my personal update on welcoming the Spring season! I’ll blog about my musical experiences soon too – I’ve done quite a bit up to now.

xoxo, Patricia

Falling Off Track… Still Lost and Searching

Hi there,

Lately, I’ve fallen off track with most things in my everyday life. I lost track of my purpose and found it hard to get back on track personally.

I’ve tried to search for answers through reflections, prayer and going out but I just felt disconnected to everyone and everything.

Deep down, I still lacked something and I wasn’t finding joy in what I was doing.

I guess it’s normal to feel a dip after a big win. Working towards something for so long and getting the desired result is exhilarating.

What’s odd was I felt underwhelmed during my celebrations and unsatisfied and was looking for another purpose or goal.

I’m used to being kept busy and on the go at all times but when it’s time to relax. I couldn’t do so in peace? It’s like I’ve stepped into an unknown zone.

The question of “What now?” pops into my head.

That feeling of uncertainty of the in between period before I start another phase in life.

It’s like I’m free but at the same time not as I have no direction currently. Wanting to talk to someone about this but I don’t want to be a burden on anyone.

Have you ever felt this way? If so, what did you do to get back on track?

I’ve started off again doing the things I love and yet, I still feel lost. My mind wanders off always.

Please reach out, I’d like to hear your experience.

Practicing Away from the Piano

The first time I have heard of this concept was last summer when I attended the Royal Conservatoire’s Piano Summer School. It’s such an interesting concept and it’s quite helpful before entering performances.

I usually have the music score out and follow my whole programme all the way through. It’s as tiring as playing it physically! Focussing on the quality of sound and being musical and relaxed.

I tend to get tension and forget to breathe when it comes to the sections that are extra challenging for me – which takes away a lot of space for the Music to breathe. I’ve been practicing on controlling it and being more engaged.

I am happy to say that I have improved a lot and this is the best I’ve ever been.

I’ll be doing much more practice away from the Piano, right now, I’m not doing it enough. It can be done any time of the day! From memory while you’re doing other things :)) Although, it’s best to be focussed on it 100%.

Keep striving guys! 🙂 You’ll get to where you want to be!

Much love,
Patricia

What It’s Like to be a Kid Today: Comedy in Modernity

What It’s Like to be a Kid Today

I came across this on Facebook, and I have never laughed so hard in a long time after watching this young guy. Some things he said were true, if not, all. Such a natural at this.

I’ve had many conversations with my parents about the challenges that I face today as a student and young adult. Many times they would tell me stories about their time in high school and college.

Back then, my parents had to physically travel to places to obtain some information for their project research. Going to the library and looking for books, going to firms and interviewing people etc. when technology isn’t even a thing yet and how “easy” we have it these days with technology.

I agree with them, technology does make things easier, saves us time too! Like Dylan Roche said in the video, “We have our own sets of challenges.”

There are many restrictions nowadays and we have to be careful on how we act and behave. The world the say is quite dangerous now, having the fear of walking alone at night as something bad might happen – knock on wood, it will never happen.

Being mindful of what we say to others or what we do, people make everything their own problem nowadays – even with jokes, keyboard warriors will find fault in it. It’s like we’re constantly being watched and that we always have to keep our guard up, not knowing who to trust.

Another thing is, teachers are exactly like students. I’ve experienced this when I was in the staff room during my work experience. Like when I was a student, we talked about teachers and others in our class, even the teachers do that! Funnily, being a former student and being in that staff room was weird.

“It’s alright, you’re one of us now!”

They’re also…. humans. They laugh, they joke around, they talk bad about some students! I was so used to seeing them on a pedestal but seeing them like that, such a breath of fresh air.

This video, full of jokes reveals the realities of the modern world. It’s scary, full of expectations and oddly funny. It’s actually quite sad.

I hope you enjoyed my analysis of this video :))
What I thought was a light reflection turned into a sad one. :))

If anyone else has any recommendations for me to watch about anything, let me know!

Patricia

Making the Conscious Decision of Doing Nothing

Hi there,

I wanted to ask you this: When was the last time you made a conscious decision to make time for yourself to relax do nothing?

If a million thoughts ran through your mind reading this, like perhaps:

“Do nothing? I barely even have time to do this, this and that.”

Relax? I cannot relax, I have many deadlines to meet.”

….and probably many more, that I can’t think of.

That’s exactly the point I was trying to make. We all live at a crazy fast pace, sometimes barely even making it. The thing is, what is it that we’re running towards? Are we just constantly keeping ourselves busy just because that’s just how society is?

Let’s all take a moment to breathe.

I’ve recently attended a Mindfulness workshop and it made me realise how much we overwork, overthink and expect from others and ourselves. When things don’t go as planned, we tend to blame ourselves or others for the setbacks. Thoughts like “If only….” and “Why is this happening to me?”, often degrade us.

It got me thinking. Our mind is often in the past dwelling on mistakes or imagining what the future is like but what about the present? Why is it easier to find fault in ourselves instead of praising our efforts and achievements? Why be so harsh all the time?

It all starts with ourselves, to learn to be kind to ourselves by simply sitting still, being aware of the present moment. Doing nothing, just focussing on being – our breath, where we are, what we see, what we hear.

You’ll be surprised on how aware you’ll become of the most subtle things that were always there but not acknowledging it as much when we’re at full speed in life. Your mind will wander but once you realise that it’s wandering off, slowly bring it back to where you are now and focussing on being.

Slowing down and being kind to yourself once in a while. Breaking routine, going off auto-pilot mode and finding the things that will make you appreciate life more. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at the start/middle/end of your day, will change your life drastically.

Go for a walk.
Read a book.
Write.
Listen to Music.
People watch.

It has only been a few days and I’ve learned to be kinder to myself, cutting down my to do lists and prioritising self-care. I’ve had time to read more, to journal, to blog, TO PRACTICE!! Now, I’m enjoying it more.

I realise that I tend to spend more time worrying on actually doing them and that causes me to be demotivated and procrastinate a lot.

Being aware and recognising what you’re feeling or thinking is the first step. It’s what you’ve to do to change that to make yourself more time and space. It’s unbelievable how vast the time and space we have once we’re in control.

Please reach out and do keep in touch!

Patricia

Exam Preparation Mindset: I’m Calm, I’m Ready & I Can Do This

Hi there,

As you all know I’ve a Piano Diploma Performance exam to prepare for and I’ve had a bit of a slump and panic last week. The constant worrying and overthinking, clouded mindset which prevented me from having an effective practice and focus during Piano lessons.

That’s all changed now! YAY! I’ve overcome that stage and now I’m in a calm phase before the performance. I’ve accepted that I am going to do this no matter what, so I might as well clear up my mind and approach this in a calm manner. (I hope to be as calm as my Piano teacher’s cat when the time comes! How cute is he?)

With a clearer mind, my practice sessions have been more productive and enjoyable. I have managed to run through my Piano Diploma programme twice now to work on my endurance. Still need to work on engaging with the pieces throughout but it’s getting there and I’m on the right track.

I’ve arranged to perform in front of some friends in my practice room to help me calm my nerves of performing in front of an audience which will benefit me for my exam. I am so grateful that they’re up for it! This is actually the first time I’m going to present my programme to my friends!

With only about a week left to the exam, I’d say I’m right where I’m supposed to be now. After 4 years, I’ve worked hard for this, I have prepared for this and now it’s time for me to do it! This is the best and most prepared I have been to date and I want to do this to the best of my ability – to enjoy performing and for the examiners and listeners to enjoy. I am excited!

Wish me all the best for it 🙂

~Patricia

Adulting: What Social Life?

Rare Social Life

Adulting.

Did the idea of adulting scare you? It definitely scares me. We’re out pursuing our own careers and soul searching – it feels like we’re thrown out into the deep end and that we have to figure it out for ourselves.

With the pressure from your peers, you see them getting married, having children, graduating and securing their first full-time jobs. Sometimes, you can’t help but feel left behind BUT never dwell on that.

All of us have different clocks, I have learned to accept that it’s okay to be where you are right now. This will teach us how to grow and mature. Our own experiences are unique and that’s what makes us different from one another.

Since we’re all busy with our schedules, it’s so difficult to find the right time to meet up for a catch up! That’s why for me, I have no social life. At work, I keep hearing about my colleagues’ plans for the weekend or the previous night and as for me, “What social life?”

The only social life I have is within the workplace, community and during teaching. Barely have one for leisure! I keep telling myself to make time and effort to meet up with others but you know how it is sometimes, plans never work out.

However, I’ve made time to finally catch up with some of my friends outside of work and the community. I missed having a social life so much, enjoying a good conversation while having lunch or dinner with delicious food – I’m a big fan of Japanese food and now, Korean.

These few people that I make time to meet up with are the friends I cherish the most. I’m so grateful for having friends like them, hearing about their progress in life inspires me as we’re all heading in the right direction of pursuing our dreams.

Adulting, I’m actually enjoying it. Keep striving and hang in there.

Much love,
Patricia

Performance Exam Preparation…. *sighs*

Hi guys,

I’m currently preparing for my ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) Piano Performance Diploma Exam this April.

How’s it going? I’m losing hope….. motivation……. and patience………

This always happens a fortnight before my performances, I get a sudden dip in motivation and I don’t seem to connect with what I’m practicing. Every time you force yourself to practice, it does more harm than good as nothing really processes.

Fingers crossed, I will run through my programme before the actual exam date. At this rate, I don’t see it happening 😦

Help! I need to inspire myself in one way or another. 😦

Much love,

Patricia

Going Offline: Today’s a Gift

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.

Bil Keane (American Cartoonist)

Every time this quote comes across, it always makes me wonder. Whatever it is that I’m doing, this serves as a reminder to live with purpose and make the most out of each day. To invest time into things that really matter, instead of wasting it on social media and trivial things.

The Lent season made me focus on things that matter, to realign and review my priorities.

I recently gave a talk in the SFC community about Loving Your Neighbour. It is a challenging talk as I struggle to do so everyday. One thing that really stood out to me was how Loving God and Loving Your Neighbour can be showed on the cross.

Credits to owner

Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.

Mark 12:30

On the cross, Loving God is written on the vertical axis. To always remember to lift everything up to him during our triumphs and failures, to pray and be grateful that God has given us this life for us to lead.

I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.

John 13:34

When God created us, he gave us His unconditional love. We should learn to love one another and spread love even to those who are difficult to deal with as we are all created in His image. We’re all brothers and sisters in Christ. Like on the cross, Loving Neighbour is written on the horizontal axis, which is to be spread to everyone around us.

Recently, I had an epiphany. Love goes around, we need this. Why is it so difficult to love sometimes? Why do we put up a wall to hide our imperfections? Is the world that afraid to be true to themselves and be known and accepted for who they are?

I learned that hiding does not solve anything. In fact, it drains us. We should learn to be courageous to face our problems and struggles with the guidance of our Lord.

Today’s a gift, I have learned to be more understanding and forgiving as we only have one life to live. Wasting your time holding a grudge on someone or something is not worth it, it refrains you from experiencing true and sincere love. I always ask myself, “Will this matter in 10 years time?” If in the present moment it doesn’t, let it go and move on and if it will matter, fix it and forgive.

It’s easier said than done, but it all starts from within. Surrender and seek guidance from God and you’ll experience His unconditional love. I healed because of Him and I’m so grateful for that.

Make today filled with purpose as it’s a gift.
Let’s keep in touch.

Much love,
Patricia